VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals?

Shaun · Feb 25, 2021 09:00 AM

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 01

Volkswagen’s R-Line brothers, the Passat R-Line and Tiguan Allspace R-Line, are currently hogging most of the attention. The Tiguan Allspace R-Line has a one and a half month waiting period, and it’s easy to see why – it has the utility of 7 seats, with the firepower of a GTI under the bonnet.

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 02

Tiguan Highline (left), Tiguan R-Line (right)

Both the Passat R-Line and Tiguan Allspace R-Line crosses the RM 200k psychological barrier. The former is priced at RM 203,411, the latter RM 208,553. At this price point, it’s within firing range of the 320i (from RM 226,763). 

Of course, buyers who choose the BMW badge will have to make do with less power (184 PS vs 220 PS), space, and comfort (Passat R-Line has adaptive suspension).

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 01

Which brings us to the less talked about, less intense siblings of the Passat and Tiguan range – the Passat Elegance and Tiguan Highline. Should you save some money and get one of these two instead? More importantly, are they better than Japanese rivals like the Honda Accord or a Honda CR-V?

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 1.4 TSI Highline

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 02

Let’s start with the Tiguan Allspace Highline. While the 1.4-litre turbocharged engine may seem underwhelming on paper, it’s perfectly suited for everyday driving. The Tiguan Highline actually feels more light-footed.

The healthy serving of torque, peaking at 250 Nm from just 1,500 rpm, makes getting up to speed an ease. Even with 7 individuals onboard, the aforementioned torque is still sufficient to maintain respectable progress.

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 03

Storage spaces in the Tiguan Highline are aplenty with a maximum of 1,775 liters of bootspace with different configuration options. They’re also quite clever and help to hide clutter very well.

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 04

The side door bins are huge, there are overhead storage compartments, the glovebox is decently sized, and the centre console cupholders are nifty.

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 05

The digital instrument cluster, named Digital Cockpit, is clear with perfectly calibrated colours. It’s also customizable to display your preferred information and layout. The infotainment system is crisp as well and supports Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity.

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 06

The Tiguan Highline is equipped with 3-Zone automatic air-conditioning, which allows the rear passengers to set the desired temperature independently. Another added convenience is the electric tailgate, although it does not feature hands-free opening function.

Cabin noise is also noticeably lesser in the Tiguan. All sources of noise from tyres, wind, and mechanical are well-suppressed. We recorded an average of 68 dB at 110 km/h compared to the segment’s average of 70 dB.

2020 Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TSI Elegance

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 07

Moving on to the Passat Elegance, it gets the same powertrain as the range-topping R-Line variant, with 190 PS and 320 Nm of torque. Again, it’s the low-end torque that impresses.

While the Passat does feel mature to drive, it has a touch of athleticism. It strikes a good balance between comfort and sportiness. The dual-clutch transmission (wet type) shifts crisply and feels more rewarding to drive enthusiastically.

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 08

The Passat’s interior space is rather impressive considering it is slightly smaller terms of overall exterior dimensions compared to other D-segment sedans. Boot space in the Passat is class-leading, rated at 586 litres.

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 09

An interior feature that lifts the cabin ambiance of the Passat is the 30-colour ambient lighting, that’s a color a day for every day of the month. Like the Tiguan Highline, the digital instrument cluster and infotainment display are crisp, with the latter supporting wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired only). 

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 10

Most of the Japanese D-segment rivals feature a 2-zone climate control; the Passat however, gets a 3-zone climate control system. Also, the electric tailgate has hands-free opening function, which Volkswagen calls Easy Open.

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 11

The Passat is equipped with Side Assist (Blind Spot Monitor) and Rear Traffic Alert. As a bonus, the full LED taillights feature dynamic lighting system with sequential turn indicators and a rather cool startup sequence.

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 12

Handling wise, the Passat feels agile around bends, which appears to be the trait of Volkswagen’s MQB platform. The Passat’s steering is linear in its response and provides a predictable handling experience.

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 13

One impressive feat from the Passat is the fuel consumption as it returned 6.5-litre/100 km during out test, which is the most fuel-efficient D-segment sedan we’ve tested thus far.

So there you have it, the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 1.4 TSI Highline and the Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TSI Elegance. Both have their advantages and unique features over the competition that are well-worth considering if you’re in the market for either of them.

VW Passat Elegance and Tiguan Allspace, should you consider them over Japanese rivals? 14

Keen buyers may visit the Volkswagen eShowroom to book the Passat Elegance or Tiguan Allspace Highline to enjoy additional online savings.

This article is sponsored by Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia.

Shaun

Writer

The quest for automotive knowledge began as soon as the earliest memories. Various sources information, even questionable ones, have been explored including video games, television, magazines, or even internet forums. Still stuck in that rabbit hole.

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